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Fiji medicos lead fight against RHD in Solomon Islands

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Update: 5:45PM HONIARA, Solomon Islands: THE Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB) in partnership with Solomon Airlines and Rotary has stepped up to help enable a specialist Fijian medical team to visit the Hapi Isles to train local medicos in the fight to prevent rheumatic heart disease.

The visit by Dr Sainimere Boladuadua and senior nurse Frances Matanatabu from the Fiji Islands RHD Prevention and Control Program has been hailed a major success with close to 40 local medical staff attending a two-day workshop at the national referral hospital.

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that may affect many connective tissues of the body, especially those of the heart, joints, brain or skin and usually occurs in children between the ages of five and 16 years.

According to the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), the Solomon Islands has a high burden of rheumatic heart disease where the prevalence of the condition is high affecting 24 cases per 1000 children.

The main thrust of the visit by the Fijian team was to increase RHD-related health literacy for healthcare workers in Honiara with training covering a vast range of subject matters.

This includes epidemiology, risk factors, acute rheumatic fever causes, diagnosis, treatment, RHD diagnosis, and management, primordial, primary and secondary prevention.

Dr Boladuadua thanked the SIVB, Solomon Airlines, and Rotary for their help in providing accommodation, flights between Fiji and Honiara and funding.

She said the support contributed greatly towards the move to revive rheumatic heart disease prevention and control efforts in the Hapi Isles.

Dr Titus Nasi, head of Paediatrics, NRH and chairperson of the Open-Heart Committee, also expressed his acknowledgement to the two Fijian medicos for the time given to visit Honiara and provide very informative training, as well as identifying gaps in the local program.

"It has been motivating and challenging and the participants have been very well informed," Dr Nasi said.

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